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Laser attack on Redcar RNLI crew

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI volunteer crew at Redcar was subjected to a laser light attack as they sped to search for a missing person in the early hours of Monday 9 July 2018.

Library image of Redcar lifeboat in action

RNLI/Dave Cocks

Library image - Redcar Lifeboat
The attack happened a few minutes after the lifeboat had launched at 12.30am on Monday to help in the search for a vulnerable person at South Gare near Redcar.

The green laser light, like that emitted from a laser pointer, was directed at the volunteer crew as the lifeboat passed by Newcommen Terrace in the Coatham area of the town.

Mike Picknett, Deputy Launching Authority at Redcar RNLI, who was in charge of the RNLI operation, said: ‘This was an appalling, reckless attack on our crew. They were navigating in near total darkness. The laser could have permanently damaged any of the crew’s vision had it shone directly into their eyes.

‘Not only could it have done serious harm to our volunteers, it might well have jeopardised the rescue mission and put other lives at risk.’

None of the crew were harmed by the attack and during the subsequent search the same crew was able to give the missing person vital casualty care after they were located by the police helicopter in sand dunes at the South Gare.

Cleveland Police have been informed of the incident.


Notes to editors:

Attached image is a library image of the Redcar RNLI lifeboat in action. Credit RNLI/Dave Cocks

Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802

Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III, paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Eileen May Loach-Thomas, paid from the legacy of the late Mr Nick Thomas of Shropshire

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Any images used should be credited RNLI/Redcar unless indicated

RNLI media contacts:

For more information please contact Dave Cocks, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager on 07894 558 483. Alternatively, contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North 07824 518641 or at, or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789;

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

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